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So I want to switch workstations at my job. I currently work in an open-plan desk and was hoping to switch to a closed office there are plenty at my work but all taken. Have you ever switched workstations with someone at work? Is it a common occurence? How does one go about doing or trying it?

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  • I can sit and "switch out" of the surrounding noise - comes with having to concentrate / focus in noisy environments. Or you can wear headphones - some find that works.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 3, 2021 at 10:30

2 Answers 2

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An office is more coveted than a cubicle or a desk in an open office. Nobody will trade with you even if you ask nicely. Best case scenario is that they'll politely tell you no, but more likely they will be offended by your audacity and/or you'll be laughed out of their office.

Your best course of action would be to ask your boss if you can get the next available office. If you want to be on the shortlist, you'll need to have a better reason than "I work better in an office" (because that applies to everyone).

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  • What if I offer to pay the person? What if I "rent it" for some amount of time?
    – Outsider
    Oct 3, 2021 at 3:31
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    Then you likely get in trouble with your boss and/or HR.
    – mxyzplk
    Oct 3, 2021 at 3:46
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    @Outsider: the office isn't "owned" by the current occupant and it's not theirs to give away. If an office opens up it gets re-allocated by HR,, facilities or management based on business needs, not on what the previous occupant wants.
    – Hilmar
    Oct 3, 2021 at 18:08
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The only aspect not covered by zmike's answer is if there is some specific part of your role that would benefit from having an office; for instance you work in HR and are constantly having conversations/calls that require confidentiality or your day is almost constant external meetings. In that case you could raise it with your manager and the company night decide it benefits the company (not you personally) to re-allocate an existing office to you or put you at the top of the list for the next available one.

Just saying "because the office is noisy and I have to concentrate" probably isn't sufficient reason because I expect most employees feel like that.

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